Christopher Butters





Our Yuppies, fresh from the triumph of landing
their first Brooklyn apartment,
furiously rip up the green shag rug
because it is old and tacky and clashes
with their furniture;
the linoleum they were amazed to find
underneath that rug, nailed
by a family of Italian workers
before the steel mill folded and the block tipped
toward the Puerto Ricans;
and the red paint they discovered beneath the linoleum
splashed by some Irish workers
as they must have made their way a century ago
like a sliding moon
between the English and the German workers

heart, bone and bloodwork, layer after layer
of Brooklyn working-class history,
before coming upon the grain
they were searching for.



(Originally posted October 24, 2015)


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